CERN Accelerating science

Cryogenic safety tool developed at CERN
by Jennifer Toes (CERN)

Participants of the Cryogenic Safety - HSE Seminar at CERN, September 2016 (Image: Julien Ordan, CERN)

In September 2016 CERN hosted its first seminar on cryogenic safety and attracted 120 participants. The seminar was organised by CERN’s occupational Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) Protection Unit, and built upon their expert knowledge on cryogenics, as a result of the extensive cooling systems in place for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The seminar aimed to bring together research institutes and members of industry on topics such as European activities and standards, research and development, risk assessment, and the development of rules and regulations for cryogenic safety systems.

As part of their work, CERN’s HSE unit spear-headed the development of a pioneering tool, named Kryolize Professional, to help size the safety devices used in the LHC cryogenics systems. Kryolize allows engineers to correctly calculate the sizing requirements of cryogenic pressure relief devices, which is crucial in minimising the risk of overpressure.

The Kryolize Professional logoWhilst originally created for internal use by LHC engineers, Kryolize Professional can also be applied outside of CERN and High Energy Physics (HEP) research. The tool was developed within the scope of international, European and American safety standards to create a harmonised approach across different fields, such as in the food industry or for medical applications.

Standards exist for some industries and applications, but they are not always standardised across disciplines.

“When we go to very low cryogenic temperatures, like we use at CERN, these standards do not exist or they’re not fully tailored,” said Andre Henriques, a Mechanical Engineer and Kryolize project leader.

The CERN Knowledge Transfer (KT) group has supported the Kryolize project to facilitate its dissemination beyond CERN, In particular by granting it funding through the CERN Knowledge Transfer Fund.

The next steps are to verify the tool’s parameters, harmonize its data, develop and finalise its user interface, obtain commercial licences and disseminate the software abroad and throughout different disciplines.

In addition, the project will participate in standardisation committees across Europe to ensure harmonized and tailored approach in cryogenic safety.

 “Safety should be the front wagon in the development of new technology,” said Henriques.

Further reading:

QUACO companies ready for announcement
by Isabel Bejar Alonso (CERN) & Panos Charitos (CERN)

The QUACO project logo (Image: CERN)

The four companies that will participate in phase 1 of the QUACO project are expected to be announced on the 29th September 2016. QUACO is a Pre Commercial Procurement (PCP) Project (Grant Agreement 689359) with scope to procure two pilot 3.8 m quadrupole magnets with two 90 mm apertures, an integrated gradient of 440 T with 120 T/m in the transverse plane, and which will have an operational temperature of 1.9 K. The magnets will be installed in the matching sections.

PCP is the European Union’s Horizon 2020 COFUND instrument for purchasing R&D services for the development of innovative products, services or processes.  One of the biggest advantages of PCP is that it allows all involved parties, both public buyers and private suppliers, to share opportunities as well as risk. As such, public purchasers are able to acquire innovative solutions to satisfy challenging needs. In addition, the project supports the R&D of enterprises, with particular benefits for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are encouraged to grow their competitive capital.

Leading companies in the field of magnet production attended the first QUACO meeting to provide an impression of present needs and share feedback with CERN experts (Image: CERN)

The QUACO project draws together four research infrastructures with similar technical requirements in magnet development. By pooling efforts on technological requirements and using their experience from prior procurements, the partners in QUACO act as a single buyer group with sufficient momentum for potential suppliers to consider the phased development of the requested magnets.

The four QUACO partners are:

  • Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies alternatives (CEA), France,

  • European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland,

  • Centro De Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales Y Tecnologicas (CIEMAT), Spain,

  • Narodowe Centrum Badan Jadrowych (NCBJ), Poland

CERN acts as the lead procurer coordinating and leading the joint procurement in the name and on behalf of the aforementioned organisations.

The project began on 1 March 2016 and will come to an end in February 2020. It is divided into three phases: solution design, prototyping and pilot deployments, with intermediate evaluations after each phase that will progressively select the best competing solutions.

The QUACO Open Market Consultation was held at CERN on 30 March 2016. Leading companies in the field of magnet production attended the meeting to provide an impression of present needs and share feedback with CERN experts. The meeting covered a range of topics, from technical aspects, such as the current status of the Q4 magnet, its technical scope and requirements; to more legal and administrative matters, such as the legal and contractual framework in which the procurement will be executed. Moreover, CERN engineers demonstrated several examples of tools and fabrication methods that might be used in the frame the project. The project tooling requirements were explained, and the market availability and areas for development were identified.

Pre-commercial procurement is a unique and novel procurement method in the field of accelerator components, and QUACO aims to demonstrate its full potential for success in this field.


  Powering strategy of SESAME magnets
  by Livia Lapadatescu, Agnes Szeberenyi with Miguel Cerqueira Bastos (CERN)

The power converter team with the first of 10 pallets that arrived at CERN with all the quadrupole power supplies (focusing and defocusing) and with the focusing sextupole power supplies. Credits: CERN and SESAME

The magnet system with its power supplies are a major component of the SESAME light source main storage ring. The main objective of the power supplies activity under the collaboration between CERN, European Commission and SESAME is to define the powering strategy and deliver the power converters and corresponding control elements to SESAME. This includes specifications, procurement and testing of all power and control components.

In the last three months, the Magnet Power Supplies activity of the CESSAMag project has seen some major milestones achieved. After reviewing the typical powering requirements of modern light sources and understanding the main differences with respect to high-energy particle accelerators, the CERN and SESAME team devised a powering strategy focused on providing flexibility and performance whilst minimizing machine downtime and facilitating maintenance procedures. This strategy was approved by both CERN and SESAME Technical Committees. It relies on the use of an existing, “proven in use”, control system to run commercial power supplies, which in the case of the quadrupoles are off-the-shelf products. With this strategy SESAME has full control over the performance of the current loop and benefits from the standardization of the control electronics. The use of commercial power supplies, easily and quickly replaceable, also improves maintenance and spare management.

The interface and DAC board, developed by the power converter team. Credits: CERN and SESAME

The control solution described above led to  the decision of using the latest power supply controller from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The CESSAMag team is the first to integrate the new generation of the PSI controller in the powering system of another light source.

The powering of the magnets in the SESAME main storage ring will be done in series for the dipole and sextupole magnets and individually for the other magnet types. The individual powering of quadrupoles was not originally foreseen and it was adopted to achieve increased flexibility, following discussions with experts from other light sources. The 8 magnet types (dipole, focusing quadrupole, defocusing quadrupole, focusing sextupole, defocusing sextupole, V-correctors, H-correctors, skew quads) require 6 different types of power supplies.

All the power supplies for the quadrupole and corrector magnets as well as the PSI electronics for the control system and the gateways have been delivered to CERN. Testing of all these elements will now start at CERN and they will be delivered and integrated into the SESAME system mid-2015.



  First industry magnet for SESAME storage ring
  by Attilio Milanese (CERN)

   Fig1: View of the first series SESAME sextupole from the correctors connection side.
   Image credit:
CNE Technology Center

In July 2014, a sextupole corrector magnet for the SESAME storage ring arrived at CERN for tests and magnetic measurements. It is the first unit out of 32 to be delivered by CNE Technology Center, a Cypriot based company under the EU-CERN CESSAMag project.

In November last year, a pre-series sextupole for SESAME was prepared at CERN, to check the design and to tune the manufacturing procedures before placing the order for the series production to industry. The contracts were then awarded to a Cypriot and a Pakistani company. The CERN team has been working closely with both companies to transfer the knowledge from CERN needed to build these magnets.

The first unit out of the 32 magnets from Cyprus has already arrived and was tested at CERN. Measurements carried out at CERN together with SESAME colleagues on this magnet show a very precise assembly, resulting in magnetic field homogeneity of 0.2‰ within 2/3 of the aperture. The unit is also mechanically, electrically and hydraulically sound, assuring good reliability during operation. This makes the magnet apt for the lattice of a synchrotron light source such as SESAME and it is a major step in preparing the SESAME storage ring.

The Cypriot company has in parallel also assembled more than 50% of the components needed for the rest of the contract. At this point the first magnet from Pakistan is currently being assembled.

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  "Green Magnets" to save energy in accelerators
    by Livia Lapadatescu (CERN), Thomas Hind (CERN)

 Fig 1: Green Magnets developed at Danfysik
 Image credit: Danfysik

A partnership of universities and industry have produced “Green Magnets” which give more than 95% electrical efficiency savings. The “Green Magnets” technology could be used to replace non-superconducting accelerator electromagnets.

The idea for the magnets, which work by using very strong permanent magnetic materials based on rare earth minerals and shaping them in such a way to provide the desired magnetic field, originated at the International Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009. The partners expressed a desire to save energy and cut carbon emissions in accelerators and identified magnets as their primary power consumer. Breaking their set target of reducing power consumption by 75%, they managed to achieve a 95% cut in energy use in the magnets, as well as removing the need for water cooling infrastructure, heavy cabling and large power supplies.

The magnets were developed through a project run by five partners from academia and industry (Aarhus University, Aalborg University, Aarhus School of Engineering, Sintex A/S and Danfysik A/S). With financial support coming from Danish Advanced Technology Foundation the consortium is  able to replace non-superconducting electromagnets of up to 1 Tesla which need not more than +/- 25% field variation during operation.

Having overcome various technical challenges, such as temperature stability and radiation resistance, what remains now is the challenge of increasing the focus of labs on energy consumption and sustainability, in addition to successfully marketing the need for more energy efficient magnets such as the Green Magnets.